One of the ongoing questions about the Singapore GP from people new to F1 is how they stay awake running that late at night. Even with the drivers and teams using their European timetable, it’s a wonder anyone was left awake by the end of the race. It was a dull affair that livened up a bit at the end only to fizzle out as Nico Rosberg retook the championship lead with his third win in a row.
Formula One has left Europe and is hoping on the plane for flyaway races. With seven races over three continents remaining and only two points separating Hamilton and Rosberg, it’s all to play for. So who has the upper-hand as the season comes to a close? Well, the answer is obvious but let’s still consult the F1 Power Rankings.
As much as I don’t like bestowing massive praise on a relatively young event but the Singapore Grand Prix has quickly established itself as one of the signature events of the F1 season. Along with the old standards of Monaco, Silverstone and Monza, this is one of the races that everyone seems to race with extra motivation to win.
With that in mind, it was quite a surprise to see Mercedes off the pace in Singapore. In fact, with the lights shining bright, it was Ferrari that was fastest through the night. Sebastian Vettel scored a grand slam by qualifying on pole, setting the fastest lap, leading all the laps and winning the race.
When you’re on the road, it’s hard to keep track of the Formula One scheudle. I was so out of the loop that I missed that Roberto Merhi has been replaced for five of the next seven races by Alexander Rossi. Rossi sits P2 in GP2 so it’s not like he’s coming out of nowhere. But being an F1 rookie and running for Manor, I don’t rate his chances that well. Whose chances do I like? That’s why we have the Power Rankings.
Just when you thought that none of the luck at Mercedes was going Lewis Hamilton’s way, his championship chances got a massive boost in Singapore. When the cars formed up on the grid, it looked like it was going to be another week of Hamilton slowly chipping away at Nico Rosberg’s championship lead. Instead, Rosberg suffered a massive failure before the formation lap. That handed the win and the championship lead to Hamilton.
Formula One has left Europe for the final time this season as we embark on a six-race flyaway portion of the calendar to conclude the season. A six-race flyaway swing that’s worth seven races worth of points but six races nonetheless.
The important question over the next couple of races is whether Lewis Hamilton has gotten out of his own head enough to win the Championship. Pressuring Nico Rosberg into a mistake in Monza was a win in itself. Now that he has momentum, the pressure is on Rosberg to capitalize on his street circuit strength this weekend in Singapore. We’re closing with some strong Hamilton circuits so Nico has to capitalize on every opportunity he has.
The Formula One World Championship may have left Europe but the change of scenery doesn’t mean that there has been a change at the head of the field. Sebastian Vettel dominated the weekend and the race with such a dominant win that you almost wonder if everyone else ran GP2 cars this weekend instead of F1 cars.